In an effort to further the advancement of women leaders worldwide, Harvard Business School (HBS) has launched the Gender Initiative to support research, teaching, and knowledge dissemination that promotes gender equity in business and society. The new initiative will be headed by Robin Ely, the School’s Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean for culture and community.

Inspiration for the Gender Initiative emerged during the 2013 commemoration of the School’s 50th anniversary of admitting women to its two-year M.B.A. program. As part of that celebration, HBS hosted its first Gender & Work Symposium, an annual gathering of top gender researchers and practitioners.

“One of the main goals Harvard Business School wants to achieve with the Gender Initiative is to ground discussions about gender in rigorous research so that people can make better-informed decisions for themselves, their families, their companies, and their communities,” Ely said. “So much of what people think they know about gender is simply not substantiated by empirical evidence but instead is based on gender stereotypes. We want to develop the initiative so that Harvard Business School becomes the ‘go-to place’ on gender issues, where both researchers and practitioners can come together to find ways to advance gender equity in the workplace and help both women and men lead whole, fulfilled, and sustainable lives.”

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